London, London, London. A city that’s buzzing with so much going on that it is impossible to have nothing to do or see at any given weekend. There is, however, one thing that you’ll hear almost all Londoners complain about – and that is the weather. It’s no secret that those dark and gloomy months between October and April are pretty miserable, especially when the sun goes down before 4pm.
And so, when the clocks are at last moved forward in March, when the evenings last just that little bit longer and when everyone feels that slight turn in the weather from freezing cold to mild, every Londoner knows that the dark winter times are over. Nothing confirms this more than when, all of a sudden, it is London cherry blossom season and the city is filled with the prettiest of pink trees full of cherry blossoms, making London look a little like something out of a Japanese fairy tale.
It’s important to note that not all locations bloom at the same time and it is very much dependant on the weather. London cherry blossom season typically starts around April, however the blossoms in some locations can appear as early as March, and some as late as May! In general, if the spring is mild, the blossoms will arrive early. If it’s a chilly spring, they will take a little longer to bloom.
If you happen to be in town to experience the London cherry blossom season, here are some of the best places to visit!
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The 8 Best London Cherry Blossom Locations
The blossoms in Greenwich Park are known to be late bloomers. Head over to Greenwich Park, and if travelling by car, park on Blackheath Avenue. With your back facing the view of Canary Wharf, look right and you should be able to see a small path where the trees almost cave in on themselves. It is these trees that will sprout pink blossoms.
To make the spot even more perfect, there are a bunch of benches where you can sit and stare at the flowers overhead. Be warned though, this is a popular tourist hotspot – not just because of the blossoms, but because it is a beautiful park with spectacular views of Canary Wharf. Lots of dog walkers, families and joggers can be seen all over the place, so make sure to go early if you want more peaceful surroundings.
Kyoto Garden, Holland Park
Cherry blossom, or sakura, is considered the national flower of Japan and each year, thousands of travellers flock to Japan to view this phenomenon. If you are planning to travel there soon, be sure to check out the Dukes Avenue guide to Kyoto to find out some of the best places to see it!
From Kyoto to Tokyo, these little pink blossoms of happiness are quite the attraction. That said, there is no need to hop on a long-haul flight all the way east to view them, just wander over to Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. Opened in the early 90s, Kyoto Garden was a gift from the Japanese to commemorate the long-standing friendship between the United Kingdom and Japan. Open daily from 7:30am, this beautiful Japanese garden is perfect for a serene day out, with its pretty waterfalls, stone lanterns and (if visiting in late March) cherry blossoms!
Almost everywhere in Notting Hill is pretty much the avid Instagrammer’s dream. With its pastel houses and cherry blossoms trees out the front, it makes the perfect spot to take that pretty spring picture. Please be respectful of the residents though – a full-on photo shoot on the steps or wall outside of someone’s house just to get your picture is not cool. Always be respectful of your surroundings and the people that live there.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The City is one of the most fascinating parts of London. St Paul’s Cathedral is naturally one of the spots that you must check out if you are sightseeing in the area. The cherry blossom trees are located right outside the cathedral itself – you can’t miss them!
A little outside of Central London is Kew Gardens. They are located in Zone 4, but definitely a stop worth checking out if you plan on spending an extended period of time in London. Kew Gardens are stunning botanical gardens that were opened in 1840, and host some of the loveliest flower exhibitions in all of London (view some photography from the Orchid Exhibition in my post on Becoming My Own Boss).
As London’s largest botanical garden, of course it does not disappoint when it comes to cherry blossom trees and offers its own cherry walk. Head on over to the Rose Garden behind the Palm House for an array of about 15 cherry blossom trees at the Temperate House.
Kensington and Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea offers plenty of locations to spot cherry blossoms, from Royal Parks to exquisite residential streets lined with cherry trees. Here are some areas worth exploring:
- Redcliffe Road in Chelsea
- Blithfield Street in Kensington
- Courtfield Gardens in South Kensington
Each of these three locations are within 2 miles of each other and can be seen and snapped in less than an hour.
Kensington Gardens makes up for the lack of cherry blossoms in its neighbouring park, Hyde Park. The best location to view the cherry blossoms at Kensington Gardens is around the Albert Memorial. Some can also be seen at the Lancaster Gate entrance.
St James’s Park
St James’s Park is one of the most picturesque parks in London, comfortably situated between Birdcage Walk and The Mall. The blossoms here are some of the first of the season to bloom, so if this spot makes it on to your London cherry blossom tour, be sure to head here first! If entering from Birdcage Walk, you’ll immediately see a cluster of pink trees – but this is not all. Walk around to the Buckingham Palace side of the park to find even more cherry blossoms leaning over the lake, a picturesque location where you can take the most beautiful shots!
Last but not least is Regents Park, another of London’s beautiful Royal Parks located just off Baker Street. Enter through the Chester Road entrance and you’ll walk onto an avenue lined with pretty white cherry blossoms. Continue strolling to the south end of Avenue Gardens to spot the pink cherry blossom trees.
Where is your favourite spot for an afternoon of cherry blossom viewing in London?
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